Tsavo National Park Safari.
Tsavo National Park is one of the largest parks in the world. It carries a whopping 4% of the Kenyan land. It is divided into two parks, Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks.
A Safari to Tsavo National Park has been in My bucket list for a while. The last time I was there was in 2012. Almost a decade ago and I did not know much then. So long as I have seen a herd of elephants, I was more than triumphant.
I wanted to go back at the start of the year but CORONA being what it is, I had to keep on postponing until a chance presented itself.
I have a list of the hot spots that you should never miss during your Tsavo National Park Safari.
10.) Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary.
This is the breeding hub of rhinos in Tsavo and Kenya at Large and a tourist Powerhouse in Africa. Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary which is located at Tsavo West National Park. Extensively extends up to 85 Kilometers Square with a 1-meter high electric fence. The Sanctuary is guarded 24hours 7 Days a week.
Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary started after the black rhinos almost went extinct. There were over 8000 Black Rhinos in the late ’70s but due to poaching for the horns trade abroad. These incredible animals decreased to about 20 individuals.
They are now rising in numbers and at encouraging 80 Black Rhinos. These archaic creatures are not only shy but also nocturnal. There are very slim chances to spot a black rhino in other parks but at Rhino Sanctuary you have high chances.
Apart from the Black Rhinos at Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary. You will be able to spot. Leopards and elephants. Although the elephants are being moved since they are proving not to be easily containable especially a bull vandalized resources and making the guarding of the Rhinos kind of difficulty.
They are being depopulated gradually to dedicate the Sanctuary for the Black Rhinos.
9.) Mzima Springs.
What an Incredibly natural beauty!! This is something you should never miss on your Tsavo National Park Safari. Located just 45 Kilometers from Mtito was Andei.
Mzima springs which mean ALIVE in Swahili is a series of an attraction of 4 Natural Springs which owe the source to Chyulu Hills which comprise of volcanic stones and Ash.
This clear water is infested with Hippos and Crocodiles. Being a hidden joint, it makes it a cool and quiet home for them. The Hippos browse by the night and relax in the pool by the day.
Mzima Springs became famous after it was featured in the wildlife documentary by Ian and Joan Root in the year 1969. The underground water infested with hippopotamuses and crocodiles.
8.) Roaring Rocks.
Talk of serene Beauty, you climb the rocks and have an incredible reward of the breath-taking views. You feel like a soaring Eagle above.
The Incredibly 360 panoramic views of wildlife, Chyulu hills and sometimes Mount Kilimanjaro is a spectacle not to miss.
It is an ideal place if you have packed lunch from your hotel to stop by. There is a dining table and taking your lunch from up there is such a great treat.
Please remember to leave only your footprints, no trashing.
7.) Shetani Lava Flow.
This is a 50 Kilometers long Lava Flow believed to have caused by volcanic eruption a hundred years ago. It is just 4 Kilometers from the Chyulu Hills Gate in the western side of Tsavo towards Amboseli National Park.
The locals, however, have their own version of Story. They believe it is the devil himself who emerged from the flow.
Explaining why the Name Shetani Lava Flow. “Shetani” is a Swahili word meaning the Devil. Nearby there are Shetani Caves formed due to volcanic eruption. You will need a well-lit Flashlight to manoeuvre inside the caves. Please be wary of the hyenas.
6.) Chaimu Hills.
This is a magnificent hiking hill which takes approximately 20 minutes to the top. It has incredible views of Chyulu Hills and the Majestic Mount Kilimanjaro from a distance. Chaimu hills mean (Devils or Ghost Hill in Kamba Language). Don`t ask me what it is with Tsavo National Park with the devil because I too don’t know.
Chaimu hills is an epic observation point and a good spot to take those breath-taking pictures. As you approach this Crater, the Soil changes from the known red sand of Tsavo National Park to black clay. It is slippery but easy to climb.
5.) Five Sister`s Hill.
The first time I saw these hills I couldn`t believe what I was seeing. They are identical twins. I don`t know what determined the gender but they lay stunningly and are cone-shaped who sit around each other as if they are people having a board meeting Lol.
It is such a feature in Tsavo National Park Safari. A must Stop Over.
4.) Kanderi Swamp
Fed water by Voi River, Kanderi Swamp which is located at Tsavo East National Park is one of the few sources of water during the dry season. As you might be aware of. Most animals don`t stay far away from water sources thus making it a spotting animal area.
During the dry season all types of animals’ flock in, from Elephants to Lions making it a Tsavo National Park a Spectacle attraction.
3.) Galana River.
This river cuts Tsavo East National Park into two. It is a combination of the waters of the Tsavo and Athi Rivers, which cuts a green gash across the dusty plains. The Main Attraction here is the Lugard’s Falls, named after Fredrick Lugard.
He`s believed to have been bitten by a crocodile while he was cooling at a rock nearby. Hence the honour to name the falls after his Name.
2.) Chyulu Hills.
This is the Green Hills of Africa, it has breathtaking photogenic endless green rolling hills with the great blue sky while camping there you will feel like you are camping above the clouds.
It is one of the engrossing attractions surrounding Tsavo National Park, it has quite a large fair share of animals. The terrestrial number of animals which include the Elephants, Elands, bushbucks, buffalo, Leopards, hogs, bush pigs’ reedbucks and Giraffes.
Please note this is an independent park on its own but just a few Kilometers from Tsavo.
You can easily access the Chyulu National Park through Tsavo East. You can do as a joining park.
Activities: Camping, Mountain Climbing, Horse Riding, bird watching and game viewing.
1.) Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary.
I was Skeptical to include Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary in my list since it is the main Tsavo East National Park according to me.
How do you go on a Safari in Tsavo and Skip this sanctuary? This 28,000 Acres Mosaic habitat where the plant physiognomy is riverine forest, savanna wood and grassland. Derive its name from the surrounding clusters of hills and is an integral part of the Eastern Arc forests classified as a biodiversity hotspot.
Since the sanctuary is small at 100 square Kilometers. The wardens give it the desired protection from Poachers and guides almost have the specific spots where to find specific Mammals.
It has more than 50 big Mammal Special and about 300 Bird Species. The endangered Maasai Ostrich and the critically endangered hirola or Hunter’s hartebeest.
Taita Hills Sanctuary Wildlife Entrance fees.
- Kenya Citizens – KSH 275
- Kenya Residents – KSH 275
- Non-Residents- USD 30
- The sanctuary entry fee is applicable to aged 3 years and above.
How to Access Tsavo National Park.
Tsavo West National Park
- Road: Distance: 240 km from Nairobi, 250km from Mombasa (Mtito Andei Gate).
If you are coming from Amboseli National Park. The main access routes are through Chyulu Gate. If you are coming from Nairobi the Main Gate is the Mtito Andei Gate.
- Coming from Mombasa: If you are coming from Mombasa, it is ideal to use the Tsavo Gate near Manyani.
- The Park is reachable via Taveta – Voi road through Maktau, Ziwani and Jipe Gates.
- Airstrips: Kamboyo, Kilaguni, Tsavo Gate, Jipe, Kasigau,Finch Hottons, Ziwani, and Maktau airstrips.
Tsavo East National Park.
- By road: The park has 3 gates, Mtito Andei gate is 233km south of Nairobi and 250km north of Mombasa on the main Nairobi-Mombasa highway.
- If you are coming from Mombasa there is a Voi main gate 153km of Mombasa-Nairobi highway.
- From Malindi take the western road (103) and enter the park via Sala gate.
- By Air: Aruba, Satao, Sala, Ithumba, Sangayaya, Mopeo, Bachuma and Cattar.
Due to COVID 19, The entrance fees were slashed with a whopping 50% and theses are the new rates.
Tsavo East and West National Park Entrance park fees
- Citizen: Kes500
- Resident: Kes500
- Non-Resident $30
- Citizen: Kes200
- Resident: Kes200
- Non-Resident $20
Chyulu National Park
- Citizen: Kes250
- Resident: Kes 2500
- Non-Resident $20
- Citizen: Kes100
- Resident: Kes100
- Non-Resident $10
Check a Customizable Tsavo National Park Itinerary from My designated Travel Partner. Incredible Kenya Adventures.